Last September 17, Netflix premiered a South Korean streaming series of the survival and drama genres that took the binge-watching community by storm. “Squid Game” details the misadventures of several civilians recruited by mysterious figures to participate in a competition involving children’s games with the promise of generous prize money, but with deadly consequences for the losers. The nine-episode series got rave reviews and became the first K-drama to land number 1 on Netflix’s 10 most-watched weekly TV shows across all territories including the US. What has only been revealed now is that a Filipino actor actually missed out on being cast for “Squid Game.”
The Philippine Star reports that actor Carlo Aquino, currently a Kapamilya but a star that has made his mark on all major TV networks in the country, was indeed offered a part in the Netflix original K-drama “Squid Game.” Aquino revealed in several recent Instagram Stories posts that the director of “Squid Game,” Hwang Dong-hyuk, personally contacted him for a part in the series in 2020. Unfortunately he had to turn down the casting offer due to existing travel restrictions in the Philippines at the time on account of the pandemic. Thus Aquino missed out.
It may have turned out awkward either way. The role offered to Carlo in “Squid Game” was that of Abdul Ali, a Pakistani overseas worker in South Korea, who joined the mysterious game competition due to his employer not paying his salary, making him desperate to send money to his family back in Pakistan. Ultimately Abdul Ali would be portrayed by Anupam Tripathi, an actor from India who made his career in South Korea, filling in foreigner roles for K-dramas such as in “Descendants of the Sun.” “Squid Game” was the first series where he was billed in primary cast.
Missing out on a K-drama role, especially one that exploded worldwide like “Squid Game,” may have been too bad for Carlo Aquino. Fortunately he manages to keep himself busy in the local entertainment scene. Aquino stars in the ongoing Kapamilya teleserye “La Vida Lena,” airing via cable on the Kapamilya Channel with simulcast block-time slots on A2Z and TV5, with fast-cut runs streaming on iWantTFC.
Image from Philippine Entertainment Portal